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Map of Vietnam




I knew I wanted to take a long journey, and immerse myself in another culture, just to escape from the daily frantic. The question was, where? I pored over atlases, guides and travel magazines. I found plenty of exciting tourist spots but no place matches my crave for authenticity.

I remember sounding it off to my bosses, colleagues and down to my love one. Everyone commented: "You'll be raped", "The place's still littered with bombs", "Malaria'll eat your guts", "You'll disappear and no one'll ever find you".

"It's a Buddhist country," I said carefully, "a gentle people. The war is over."

I went to Vietnam to find out which one of us was right.